Language used in spells is meant to express an emotional intent. It does not matter what words are actually used, provided that they express a high emotional level and a carefully defined intent. Do not be surprised if your Guide gets involved, showing or telling you a better way to do something. Some groups favour the use of old languages and archaic terminology. When they understand the emotion behind the words, that will work well for them, for they have put a great deal of effort into research and understanding of the words. But when participants just parrot incomprehensible phrases or read from a script to live out some fantasy, the spell fails.

When Solomon called down power, he used Hebrew names that we now regard as archaic; when he wrote on his pentacles, he used Hebrew letters. Solomon was a Hebrew. When Hebrew was replaced by Latin as the language of scholars, Solomon’s words were translated into Latin because that’s what learned people could read and write. The translation made Solomon’s work effective for those who could read and understand Latin. Today we use plain English if that is our native language.

We do not yet understand well the mechanics of communication, but records show many examples of (for instance) people under hypnosis being controlled by instructions in languages they had no knowledge of. In other words, somehow the mind translates messages into actions even though the words “ought” to be meaningless. In the same way, animals will respond to commands in many different languages even when the words sound different.

We believe this happens because commands, especially psychic commands, are expressed not in actual words, but in emotionally coded signals that trigger reactions in the deepest recesses of our minds. Thus, in doing magical work, you must transmit the emotionally coded signal, not some words that have little or no meaning in your reality. If you transmit gibberish, gibberish is what the receiver gets. When a person who speaks only English attempts to transmit thoughts in ancient Hebrew, he lowers his chances of establishing contact for two reasons:

1. He doesn’t key his mind correctly.
2. The receiver is unable to understand the transmission.

Contrast that with the example above where the words spoken to someone under hypnosis were in a language strange to that person, but where the thought transmitted was in English – the individual’s native language. It is also obvious that the repetition of a meaningless magical name is useless:

Stand. Face east In a loud voice repeat sixteen times, an ancient Hebrew word.

Instructions like this are common in magical texts. The pronunciation of the word is lost; the nearest we can come is “JHVH” or, in chanting, “Elelu.” Similarly you might find instructions like,

Kneel in a perfect circle. With the blade of your athome between your teeth, your wand in your right hand, and your white-handled sword in the left, think: “Tetragrammaton.”

Tetragrammaton literally means four-letter word. In occult circles it is taken to cover all the spellings of the names of God. Unfortunately, in the world at large a four-letter word has a somewhat different connotation. Witches prefer to think of the word God or Goddess, believing this thought results in better two-way understanding. It is easy to change the language of an incantation to your local language, though you need to retain the significance and the emotion of the original words.

Ancient ways are often useful guides, but in psychic work it has been our experience that we don’t know enough about them to make them fully effective.

Gavin & Yvonne Frost
The Witch’s Magical Handbook

Magic & Belief

June 9, 2017

It may be said that ritual is the very heart of magick. For it is through ritual that we achieve our magical results. Ritual is a magical procedure or ceremony we perform in order to change the environment. Usually we think of ritual as bearing on active magick, although certainly, it can also affect passive magick. Most often the change achieved is subjective and in the physical world. Outsiders may put them down to coincidence, but the effects are very real. Magical goals for a ritual should not be taken lightly. The successful practice of magick depends upon strong belief. The simplest ritual of them all must be belief itself. If you can believe in your desired results strongly enough, that act is a magical ritual which will achieve your results. Even a very complex ritual is no more effective than strong belief. There are aids to concentration which may help. Thus in “creative visualization”, imagination and controlled breathing are brought into play.

K Amber
The Basics of Magick

30 th April

Busy, busy day. People arriving last night, more this morning. Later there will be queues for the shower. Chaos rules, as always. Then a small convoy of cars to Plymouth where our feast will commence.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is not good for today: rain may be coming in off the coast; so a wet, weary Beltane, perhaps?

After an afternoon of eating and drinking we will all travel to a secret location. There wood has already been prepared for our bonfire, the sawn logs covered to keep them dry. Even in the rain we will have a Beltane bonfire – come what may, we will leap the flames. And heavily cosmetisised women with flowers in their hair will dance round the Maypole in delicious abandonment.

One of my favorite times of year.

Curse Tablets

April 29, 2017

Overall, the language and the structure of judicial defixiones follow the developmental pattern of curse tablets in general. The earliest examples name the opponents; they sometimes invoke local deities by their familiar names, though some examples omit both verbs of binding and the names of the deities; and they mention the physical and mental faculties, usually tongue and mind, to be bound or tied up so that the targets will be unable to pursue their case. Later examples, by contrast, tend to be longer, to use secret names and mystical terms (the voces mysticae), to invoke spirits and deities from many traditions, and to provide specific details for every aspect of the binding process.

In general, the potential defendant in a legal proceeding seems to have resorted to a local professional, perhaps to a magos, in order to commission a defixio.

John G. Gager (editor)
Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World

Diary 14th April

In ‘Crowds of Power’, Elias Canetti gives us an example of inter-tribal warfare in South America. A Taulipang tribal warrior tells how they wiped out a neighbouring tribe, the Pishauko. According to Canetti, the Taulipang launched a surprise night attack on their enemies village. Apparently the Pishauko witch doctor sensed their approach from the ‘spirit dimension’ and warned everyone of danger, but the villagers ignored him. The Taulipang warriors dully appeared and began clubbing the Pishauko to death. They set fire to the huts and tossed all the Pishauko children into the flames.

How did the Pishauko witch doctor ‘sense’ the impending attack?

We know that Neanderthal man buried his dead with some sort of ritual (seeds of brightly coloured flowers were interred with the corpse – probably, they were woven into somekind of shroud). Chunks of manganese dioxide have been found in their caves worn down on one side as if used as crayons. Ritual art is a strong possibility. Undoubtedly, Neanderthal man and woman had religion (indicated also by the stone spheres representative of the Sun and Moon found in their habitations), and religion is obviously the outcome of thinking about the Universe.

200,000 years ago at Pech de l’Aze in the Dordogne, homo erectus took time out to engrave the rib bone of an ox – the engraving, the earliest we know of, is of three arc-like patterns overlapping. Is this, too, a representation of symbolic (religious?) significance?

175,000 years ago Cro-Magnon man was busy painting the walls of caves – in the deepest, darkest, remotest parts of caves. Vivid paintings of bison, deer, wild boar and wild horses. It was Salomon Reinach in 1903 who suggested the probable magical significance of these paintings; magic ritual to lure the animals to Cro-Magnon traps; lure the food to the table.

Alexander Marshack in his book ‘The Roots of Civilization’ suggests the Cro-Magnons were far less primitive than previously thought: they recorded a basic calendar on animal bones to anticipate the seasonal migration of animals, their food supply. In effect they invented a simple form of writing!

It is speculative, but a strong possibility, that religious art extended far back in time beyond the highly developed art of the Cro-Magnon people. It is probable that homo erectus, over 200,000 years ago, with their much enlarged brain capacity, used ritual magic in an attempt to control nature, to control their food supply.

So, you might ask, what has this to do with that Pishauko witch doctor?

Well, ancient man had no need to ask questions about the forces of nature; he FELT them around him, as a fish feels every change in water pressure through nerves in its sides. The result was most likely a curious sense of unity with the earth and heavens that homo sapiens – us, in other words – generally lost a long time ago. Ancient mans religion, his rituals, weren’t an attempt to ‘explain’ his world – it was a natural response to its forces.

In much the same way, the Pishauko witch-doctor was able to FEEL the approach of his enemies. All shamans, witch-doctors, magicians, witches and sacred priests, throughout human history, have claimed they derive their powers from ‘spirits’, often those of the dead. Sure we can dismiss this as primitive superstition – but we’ll be missing the point if we consider it an attempt to explain ‘life’ after death. Shamans do NOT believe in ‘spirits’; they EXPERIENCE them first hand – or at least, experience something they accept as the ‘spirit world’. Thus, boys and girls, I’d suggest it unlikely Neanderthal man performed burial rites because he ‘believed’ in life after death. He performed them because he took it for granted that he was surrounded by ‘spirits’, and these included the ‘spirits’ of the dead and the spirits of nature – otherwise known to us as ‘elementals’. Our Pishauko witch doctor, engaging in a ‘magic’ ritual to help a sick tribe member, and communicating with his ‘spirit guides’ was promptly alerted to the impending danger of attack.

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What will happen on Beltane?

We’ll take part in the Great Rite, of course – experience the type of sex where we are so deeply entwined, so far in to each other’s darknesses and each other’s souls that we will be as one. Passionate, lustful, almost savage fucking. That’s what will happen.

For Beltane is a time for love. A time for merging with the goddess; for seeing the world through each other’s eyes. It is a time for bonfires and dancing. It is a time to be joined by spirits, in celebration of the Earth’s great fecundity. See their ghost shapes, milky white, dancing beside you in the trailing smoke from the bonfire. Eat, drink, love…

The space beyond truth

April 9, 2017

Diary 9th April

Me, age ten. My older cousin Debs, fair and freckled, hitched up her skirt in the bathroom to show me where a boy must put “his thing” to make a baby.

“Obviously,” she reassured me, “it’s got to be stiff when you do that…”

And funnily enough, looking at what she had down there, I was very stiff. But a baby…? How could a baby come from such a small opening?

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My mother spoke frequently of my sister’s second husband’s sexual problems. These she attributed to an excess of wanking as a child. He had, she insisted, a terrible crush on another boy while in sixth form college. My sister, lacking a penis, was no doubt second best when it came to his choice of life-partner. Although how my mother acquired such intimate knowledge of him I haven’t the slightest idea.

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The beautiful weather continues. I will spend the day in the garden, pottering about in the bright sunshine and drinking G&Ts from tall iced glasses. Probably, we’ll all be legless by teatime.

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Aromatherapy has been practiced for many, many years. There is, of course, a spiritual side to this form of massage. There are Wiccans who in their practice of witchcraft can create potions and elixirs which by the ritual reciting of spells energise these herbs and ingredients to a whole new level of potency. They are able to produce aromatherapy oils that work on the brain, creating states of euphoria and bliss the like of which you will never have experienced before.

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And, of course, we’re thinking about Beltane. Food, drink and love starting on the evening of 30th April and continuing throughout the 1st of May in celebration of the Gods and Goddess’ of fertility and love. It is a time of fire and raw sex. Bonfires and rituals. A time to practice “The Great Rite”, reenacting the creation of the universe through acts of ritual sex – celebrating our bodies and creating magical power while engaging in acts of love outdoors. Perfect.

guide the dead home…

October 30, 2016

halloween3

It is customary to celebrate Samhain with a ritual to guide the dead home by opening a western facing door or window and placing a candle by the opening…

Samhain essentials….

October 24, 2016

cone-of-power

Incantation

August 24, 2016

trees3
Be hole, be dust, be dream, be wind
Be night, be dark, be wish, be mind,
Now slip, now slide, now move unseen,
Above, beneath, betwixt, between.

Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book

like Witches

June 16, 2016

treesandlight

Like Witchcraft, conjure is the magic of the people, that wisdom and power hidden within us all that is accessible to everyone regardless of economic status, and, like Witches, conjurers and rootworkers embrace this power as a vocation to help those in need. It works within the context of all religions for it is the spirit that flows through them all.

Christian Day
The Witches’ Book of the Dead